Canadian citizen charged with supporting ISIS terrorist group


A Saudi-born Canadian citizen has been charged with supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

Mohammed Khalifa, a leading ISIS media figure and foreign fighter, was charged in U.S. federal court in Virginia.

“As alleged in a criminal complaint unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mohammed Khalifa, a Saudi-born Canadian citizen, who was a leading figure in the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) English Media Section and served as an ISIS fighter, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Khalifa was captured overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in January 2019, the Department of Justice said, adding that he was recently transferred into the custody of the FBI, at which point he was first brought to the Eastern District of Virginia.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, Mohammed Khalifa, aka Abu Ridwan Al-Kanadi and Abu Muthanna Al-Muhajir, 38, of Canada, served in prominent roles within ISIS starting in 2013 and continuing until his capture by the SDF in January 2019 following a firefight between ISIS fighters and the SDF.

In addition to allegedly serving as an ISIS fighter, Khalifa allegedly served as a lead translator in ISIS’s propaganda production and the English-speaking narrator on multiple violent ISIS recruitment videos.

Productions by the ISIS Media Bureau during the time period in which Khalifa was allegedly a prominent member include videos or images depicting the beheadings of American hostages James Wright Foley, Steven Joel Sotloff and Peter Edward Kassig, an announcement concerning the death of American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller, the beheadings of British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning, the decapitated body of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa, and the beheading of Japanese citizen Kenji Goto.

Khalifa is charged with conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.



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